I think that when one declares oneself a playwright, one hopes that the words being written are going to be spoken aloud. But in the digging process, it’s not just the subject and the writer—the play comes into it too. And only recently I’ve begun to wonder if the play’s coming into it, if that is rewarding the writer for the time he or she has put into the work. It’s perhaps known as inspiration. Or it could be characters. That I try—well, subconsciously—I try to get to a stage where I know what the characters are feeling. And therefore, the characters can only speak one way. In the way that they want to speak. Because the better you know someone, the more limited the words in which you know they will express themselves become.
From an interview with Tom Murphy, The Paris Review, 2012. http://www.theparisreview.org